Night Demon – Curse Of The Damned
Century Media Records – 2015
Muthas, how many times have you loved a band’s first release, particularly an EP, only to have their subsequent full length follow-up completely suck? You know the story - a big label gets ahold of the band and grinds all the sharp edges off their previously gritty sound, or the band doesn’t have much good material beyond what they put on the EP. That brings us to the first full length LP by Night Demon and this time nobody’s going to disappointed! Curse Of The Damned kicks all sorts of ass and picks right up where the EP left off! No letdown here! No sir, no way!
If you’re not familiar with Night Demon just imagine the best NWOBHM band playing melodic, hooky Metal with loads of conviction and sincerity. This isn’t some cynical ploy by some corporation to make a few bucks based on the resurgence of Traditional Metal. Rather, it’s the product of a band completely dedicated to the DIY ethos of the NWOBHM. These guys mean it and live it like few bands do anymore. They are tireless roaddogs and seem willing to play anywhere, anytime no matter how big or small the crowds are. From European festivals to basement parties in an old house, these guys are out there laying it down. That’s as Metal as it gets! But how's the damn LP sound you ask? Well read on my friend.
The album is crammed full of killer speedballs like “Screams In The Night,” "Run For Your Life," and “Full Speed Ahead,” but also features a couple of longer songs such as “The Howling Man” and “Save Me Now.” Both of those tracks are excellent but “The Howling Man” is the epic centerpiece of the album with a very cool intro. Lyrically it’s based on an old Twilight Zone episode of the same name that deals with a man imprisoned in a church. Spoiler Alert – he’s Satan and it's probably better for all parties if he's kept locked up. Trust me on this one.
The hard rockin’ “Heavy Metal Heat” is a rollicking cut that celebrates both the Metal fans and the bands out there crushing skulls for a living. Call it cliché but we can’t get enough of songs that extol the glories of Metal and rocking in general. “Livin’ Dangerous” is another complete party of a tune that is sure to get any crowd going. “Curse Of The Damned” is the first single and is an amazing track that initially reminds of “The Zoo” by the Scorpions and then plunges headlong into even more excellence. Check out a live version below:
Musically the band is tight as hell and their songwriting is top notch. Jarvis Leatherby’s vocals are excellent and fit the music like a glove. At some points, he reminds me of Zeeb Parkes of Witchfinder General – particularly during the chorus of “Satan”- but he’s got his own style and displays it magnificently. His bass playing is very good as well and it’s mixed upfront as it should be. Brent Woodward’s guitar playing is great and always serves the song - he plays with subtlety or flash depending on what is required. The drumming by Dustin Squires is also exemplary and helps tie every song together perfectly. Night Demon is the very definition of a power trio!
Curse Of The Damned will be available in several formats – CD, Vinyl and digital download. The Vinyl features a cover of Riot’s “Road Racin’” and the download has that cover as well as a re-recording of the song “The Chalice” from their EP. Century Media has several pre-order packages available and the band is offering an exclusive vinyl edition and a die hard bundle. You can order that here.
The Bottom Line: Curse Of The Damned is all killer no filler, as we old people used to say back in the days of yore. It’s well worth your coin and I urge all fans of the NWOBHM, Traditional Metal, or just good music in general to go out and buy it. Don’t suck at life – support Night Demon and their mission to take over the world one listener at a time. BUY IT!!!!
As always, MAKE MINE METAL!